Sales without prospecting is a huge waste of time.
Let me paint a picture – you’re talking to a stranger and they keep checking their watch. By the time you finish, the entire conversation feels like nothing more than a waste of precious time.
That’s sales without prospecting.
Now that you understand that prospecting is extremely important, let’s dig deeper and learn all about prospecting sales, prospecting examples, and techniques.
What Does Prospecting Mean?
Sales prospecting can be defined as the process of salespeople conducting outbound calls or sending outbound emails to leads with the aim of generating prospects for account executives.
Cold-calling, email, SMS messaging, and other types of outreach can be used to nurture leads that have gone cold or to reach out to whole new persons who are possible purchasers.
Prospectors, also known as sales development reps (SDRs) or business development reps (BDRs), can assist in achieving predictable ROI by providing account executives with a consistent supply of opportunities.
Prospecting is done with the use of sales prospecting tools that allow salespeople to study organizations, discover the proper people to reach out to, gather information about them, and then contact them.
Why is sales prospecting important?
Sales prospecting is an essential part of every business model, for many reasons:
1. Fill Your Pipeline
Sales prospecting is the lifeblood of your company’s expansion.
“Pipeline is lifeline” is a phrase that you might have heard at one point or another around the office.
What it means essentially is that your sales teams will struggle if you don’t have a system in place to develop the pipeline.
Pipeline is essential for business growth since it illustrates what has been accomplished, what is currently being worked on, and who you are aiming for.
2. Increase Productivity
The addition of a sales prospecting staff boosts productivity.
First, you can determine their strengths and limitations by tracking the results of their prospecting activities in a CRM. This enables you to identify inefficiencies and improve efficiency over time.
Be aware that there are several excellent CRMs available. There are also free CRMs that perform fine until you can afford a more sophisticated solution with extensive reporting and functionality if your budget is limited.
You’ll need a measuring system that offers your team a single point of access to the leads you’re pursuing, like an Excel spreadsheet.
3. Gain Competitive Insights
Sales prospecting is a simple way to learn about your competitors.
Conversations with prospects can provide you with valuable information on how to market your products and services.
I propose making play cards with your competitor’s benefits and drawbacks so that your sales force is prepared to address these issues when they arise in sales conversations.
It’s crucial to understand that “bashing” or badmouthing your competition is a huge no.
Instead, leverage the competitive data you gain from sales prospecting to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities.
Lead vs. Prospect
It’s crucial to understand the distinctions between these two categories of people. During prospecting, you and the rest of your sales team will be talking with them, and understanding who they are will influence how you approach them.
Potential clients who have indicated an interest in your firm by visiting a website, subscribing to a blog, or signing up for a free trial are known as leads. Prospects are qualified leads who fit your target audience and buyer personas.
A prospect (not a lead) can be recognized as a possible client based on their credentials and fit, even if they have had little or no engagement with your firm.
It’s also crucial to note that, while leads and prospects are defined differently, your goals with both are the same: nurture them until they buy your product or service.
How to prospect
Prospecting that isn’t fruitful is a major waste of time. You simply have to know how to go about it.
Here are a few ways:
Research your prospect and their business
This is, without a doubt, the most crucial part of prospecting. To enhance our chances of offering value to them or their business, you must research your prospects.
You want to accomplish a few things at this level of prospecting:
- Check to see if the opportunity is feasible.
- Start qualifying and ranking prospects.
- Personalization, rapport building, and trust development are all ways you can use to form a relationship.
Prioritize your leads depending on how likely they are to become customers
Prioritizing prospects can help you save time and guarantee that you focus your efforts on the prospects who are most likely to become customers.
Prioritization levels will differ depending on the type of sales organization and the salesperson, but the general concept is to group prospects into a few buckets based on their potential to buy and focus on one bucket at a time.
For example, in terms of concluding a business, the magnitude of the opportunity is definitely more significant than timing, therefore it would earn 70%, while timing would receive a 5%.
For each candidate on your list, assign a value between 1 and 100 to these dimensions. After that, multiply the value of each prospect by the percentage weight you assigned to the dimension.
Add these dimension scores together to get a total score for each candidate. Your complete list has now been prioritized.
So, here’s the answer if you’ve wondered “What is prospecting in sales example?”:
|Prospect’s size of opportunity rating: 90Size of opportunity dimension weight: 70%End score: 90 * 0.70 = 63|
Prepare a personalized pitch for each prospect
You can accomplish this in a number of ways:
- Examine the prospect’s blog to see what they’re interested in based on the posts they’re creating and publishing.
- Make a list of their social media profiles and go over them. Do they have any fresh postings or updates?
- Examine the “About Us” section of the company’s website.
After this, develop a decision map to define your prospect’s alternatives and end-goals if you want to become more high-level with your preparation.
5 Sales Prospecting Techniques
What are prospecting techniques you can employ? Let’s check them out.
1. Block Out Sales Prospecting Time
There’s always something else you might be doing, but it’s crucial to understand that you probably won’t give prospecting the attention it deserves until you schedule time for it.
Just make sure your prospecting time blocks coincide with the times when your potential clients are most likely to be accessible. If you’re going to contact them, you want to offer yourself the best opportunity of getting a response right away.
2. Cash In On Your Existing Network
Do you know what is one of the fundamental distinctions between the top sellers and the rest of the pack? The ambition to use their network to their advantage.
Why should they not? Why wouldn’t you ask if you can do the same for their friends and colleagues after you’ve spent the time to create a good connection with them and proved that you can bring genuine value to them?
You’re selling smarter if you’re getting recommendations.
3. Use Events to Your Advantage
It’s easy to dismiss event marketing as obsolete, but the truth is, they can still be quite beneficial to your business, especially when it comes to B2B sales.
One of the most significant advantages of event marketing is the opportunity to reach a steady stream of individuals who share similar interests. These are individuals who have the potential to become prospects and, eventually, paying customers.
4. Do Your Research
While your first phone conversation or email with a prospect may be your first encounter with them, it isn’t necessarily your first chance to learn about them and anticipate their requirements.
A little bit of research can go a long way. It can assist you in breaking the ice with your prospect, anticipating their problems, and understanding how your product might solve their problem. In other words, it can make a chilly call or email feel a bit warmer.
As a result, you can skip some of the fundamental questions you’d have to ask otherwise and get right to the vital job of creating value.
5. Build Relationships
The sales process involves a lot more than just selling. You’ll be disappointed if you regard every interaction with your prospects as a race to clinch the transaction.
So, what should a salesperson do? According to some reports, customers merely want the salesperson to pay attention to their needs. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many reps fail to pay attention.
Prospecting does not have to be a time-consuming, challenging task.
In fact, for both sales professionals and prospects, it can be a great experience. Incorporate a couple of the tactics I discussed above into your process, and try out different techniques and tools to find what works best for you and your team.
Then you can be confident that you’ll start converting more good-fit prospects into paying clients.